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EditPhoto Title:Hawai‘i
EditPhoto Description:hoʻi i ke kai momona: return to an abundant ocean
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_24372653.jpg
EditImage Description:Hawaii fisherman
EditPhoto Credit:© Troy K Shinn/ www.troyshinn.com
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The ocean has always been central to life in Hawai‘i, providing food, cultural benefits and recreation to island residents.


But in recent years, threats such as overfishing, coastal development and harmful runoff have weakened ocean health — and essential fish populations.

To make the ocean abundant once again, Conservation International Hawai‘i merges traditional knowledge with Western science, conservation tools and strategies for changing how people and business value local, sustainable seafood.


Why is Hawai‘i important?

Food We Eat

Seafood, an important source of protein and essential fatty acids, contributes to the nutritional well­being of millions of people across the world. In Hawaiʻi, more than 90% of people consume seafood on a regular basis — nearly three times the U.S. average.

Jobs And Prosperity

Hawaiʻi’s coral reefs provide tremendous value: They attract divers and snorkelers, support fisheries that provide food and income, harbor unique biodiversity that draws scientists and researchers, and increase property values. Combined, these benefits contribute an estimated US$ 360 million to the state’s economy every year.

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EditSection Title:What are the issues?
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EditCircle color:fact--blue    
EditCircle icon:icon-fish
EditResult value:75%
EditResult field:of coastal fisheries depleted
EditText:Due to threats such as overfishing, coastal development, harmful runoff and the loss of traditional resource management practices, 75% of Hawaiʻi’s small­scale fisheries are depleted or in critical condition.

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EditCircle icon:icon-food
EditResult value:63%
EditResult field:of seafood imported
EditText:Hawaiʻi’s food system is highly dependent on imports: 80% to 90% of food consumed in Hawai‘i is imported, including 63% of all commercially sold seafood. This is costly in both environmental and monetary terms. As seafood consumption increases and climate change impacts begin to be felt, Hawaiʻi’s reliance on costly foreign imports will increase unless there is a shift to local, sustainable food production.

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EditResult field:Land-use changes
EditText:Land-use changes in Hawaiʻi have increased runoff of sediment and other pollutants to coral reefs. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Hawaiians sustained abundant coral reef fisheries and sophisticated fish pond aquaculture systems that supplied up to 2 million pounds of fish per year. However, these systems declined when agriculture and other development changed the landscape, and as modern fishing techniques replaced traditional practices. Combined, these factors contribute to a depleted supply of local, sustainable seafood for the people of Hawaiʻi.

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EditResult field:Management gaps
EditText:Hawaiʻi is the only coastal U.S. state that does not issue recreational marine fishing licenses — a missed opportunity for collecting catch data and for raising much­needed funds for fisheries management and enforcement. Currently, the state government invests only 1% of its budget in natural resource management, leading to significant oversight gaps.
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What is CI doing?

Our role

Our work benefits local fishers, coastal communities, natural resource managers, seafood consumers, and everyone in Hawaiʻi who seeks the return of an abundant ocean.


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Edit Item Title:Improve small­scale fisheries management
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Edit Item Text:CI Hawai‘i works with fishing communities and policymakers to help Hawaiʻi’s fish populations thrive. At the community level, CI Hawai‘i fosters responsible fishing and traditional knowledge­sharing by engaging local fishers and hosting educational family fishing camps. At the state level, we have worked with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to launch a Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit, which spurred a 90% compliance rate with fishing regulations (such as those that prohibit illegal netting) in a patrol area around the island of Maui. We also bring together communities, nonprofits and state agencies to support collaborative management of Hawai‘i’s marine resources.
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Edit Item Title:Restore coastal habitats and traditional fishponds
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Edit Item Text:CI Hawai‘i designs and implements ridge-to-reef solutions — holistic approaches that link land and coastal ecosystems. For example, we have worked with local community members to keep nearly 20 tons (or 2.5 dump trucks’ worth) of sediment from rainstorms off a reef near the island of Lānaʻi. Other projects include restoring seafood production in fish ponds.
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Edit Item Title:Promote local, sustainable seafood
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Edit Item Text:Working with the local seafood industry, CI Hawai‘i is developing a program that tracks seafood from hook to plate. Because seafood certified as sustainable commands higher prices in the marketplace, this approach will create incentives for producers, restaurants and retailers to provide consumers with a safe, healthy supply of sustainably harvested seafood. To connect local fishers directly to consumers — and put seafood at the center of the local food economy — CI Hawai‘i also launched the state’s first “community supported fishery.”
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EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_39971677.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Young boy and his father holding a net
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:34 family fishing camps
EditText:In 13 communities on six islands, CI Hawai‘i led Lawai‘a ‘Ohana (family fishing) camps — opportunities for more than 2,000 participants to learn responsible fishing techniques and engage in natural resource management.
EditPhoto Credit:© Mark Holladay Lee
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    ​​​​​​Video Carousel (medium, black background)

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    Section Information

    EditSection Title:CI Hawai'i Videos
    EditSection Description:See up close our work to improve fisheries and strengthen food security in Hawai'i.
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    EditYoutube Video ID:hRaa1lA22ZY/Pages/video.aspx?vid=hRaa1lA22ZY
    EditVideo Title:Using Hawaiian Traditions to Improve Fisheries[Optional]
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    EditYoutube Video ID:yOexfvFXVK4/Pages/video.aspx?vid=yOexfvFXVK4
    EditVideo Title:Managing Hawaiian Fisheries[Optional]
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    Edit Title: Featured Publications
    EditTitle Style:h3 carousel__headerCarousel Header
       
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      Edit Max. number of featured publications: 5
      Edit Tags{"CIGeography":{},"CIOther":{"Hawaii Fish Trust":true},"CIPeople":{},"CITopics":{}}
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        Title

        EditModule Title:What can you do?
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        Sections

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        Edit Section Title: Eat Sustainable Seafood
        Edit Section subtitle: Not all seafood is created equal. You can help keep fish in the ocean by eating only seafood that’s been sustainably sourced.
        Edit Button link: /pages/what-you-can-do-tips.aspx#eat-sustainable-seafood
        Edit Button text: Learn More
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        Edit Section Title: Learn
        Edit Section subtitle: Visit CI’s blog for more stories about CI Hawai‘i’s work.
        Edit Button link: http://blog.conservation.org/tag/hawaii/
        Edit Button text: Read More
        Edit Background image: /sitecollectionimages/ci_82684419.jpg
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        Edit Section Title: Follow Us
        Edit Section subtitle: Like CI Hawai‘i’s Facebook page for pictures and news from the field.
        Edit Button link: https://www.facebook.com/CI.Hawaii
        Edit Button text: Facebook
        Edit Background image: /sitecollectionimages/nature-placeholder-1.jpg
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        Newsletter

        EditNewsletter Title:Keep in touch
        EditNewsletter Message:Get updates on CI’s efforts to strengthen food security in Hawai‘i — and the rest of our conservation work — delivered to your inbox.
        EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Title:Thank you for joining
        EditNewsletter Confirmation Message Text:We can't protect the planet without your support​
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        EditDonate Title:Donate
        EditDonate Message:Help to protect Hawai‘i’s vital ocean resources.
        EditDonate Button Text:Give now
        EditDonate Button Link:http://getinvolved.conservation.org/site/Donation2?df_id=11180&11180.donation=form1
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        More of Our Work Links

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        First Image

        EditTitle:Climate
        EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
        EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
        EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

        Second Image

        EditTitle:Science and Innovation
        EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80568511.tif
        EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
        EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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        EditTitle:The Ocean
        EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16084886.jpg
        EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
        EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse